Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Methinks I Doth Protest Enough ...

The other day, one of my brothers – I have two – mentioned that he wants to start dating. I was talking to the brother who is single again, not the brother who is married. If my married brother proclaimed that he wanted to start dating, I reckon that that would be problematic. But I digress.

I told my brother that I have no interest in dating. Those days are behind me, as far as I'm concerned. See that pasture over there?

He seemed a bit surprised. Didn't I want to find someone?

Well, sure, I said. And if I happen to meet someone in the course of my day-to-day living, I'll be happy to have dinner with that person if that person asks.

But dating sites? God, no.

What I tried to convey in the car, in that conversation that day, is that the experience of dating is very different for women than it is for men.

Television has done us no favors, we women. There are too many sitcoms that feature an oafish, rotund man married to a smart, skinny wife. I wonder how many men see them and think they're entitled to the same. How man Jim Belushis out there think they're going to end up with a Courtney Thorne-Smith? How many Kevin Jameses think they should be with a Leah Remini?

And then yesterday, my e-pal Patti retweeted a link to a story that appeared in the U.K. about women and how they perceive their bodies.

And it was written by a man.

Here it is.

It's a good piece. It covers a fair amount of ground. But it's also written from the perspective of a man who's involved with a woman, who tries, however in vainly, to understand how women relate to their bodies.

I posted the link of Facebook and Twitter, commenting that I could probably add 1,000 words to his treatise, and then I thought to myself, "I probably already have."

Yep, I've written more than that on the topic.

I've written this post about body image and this post about body image, which was inspired by seeing a piece about a model who was once thin, but is now "curvy," but who, of course, is still thin by any rational standard.

And I wrote this post about whether I should settle. (The short version of that post: NO.) And I wrote this post after seeing the play "Fat Pig" in which a man leaves a woman because he can't deal with the fact that she's heavier than "normal," whatever that is these days.

My point being that the man who wrote the article for the Telegraph, bless his well-intentioned heart, will never be able to understand the complexities of what women go through, because so much of what we go through is caused by men who don't grasp how much damage they're causing every time they cast aside a woman because she's not thin enough or not beautiful enough.

Those actions might seem insignificant from the men's perspectives, but they are not glancing blows for most women. Most women end up on the mat after taking one of those hits. Yes, we get up eventually, but the effect is cumulative. The damage lasts.

I truly admire the women who keep putting themselves out there. I have no interest in doing so. It may seem pathetic to some, but I'd rather live my life as single than face the prospect of being written off, yet again, because I don't look like a potential trophy wife.

If the one "offense" of not being thin is enough to negate "smart," "funny," "kind," "talented," and every other good trait, I'm not interested in playing that dating game.


Anonymous Alison said...

Don't even get me started.

OK, short version: I had NO idea what I had when I had it, because I got messages from my ex-husband, the society I lived in, and the media, that I was fat.

Now? I'm kinda fat, through no real fault of mine (thank you, weight gain-inducing medication!) and I just feel resigned to it.

Anyway. Word.

10:33 AM  
Anonymous Dave said...

Most men think that sex is associated only with the body. Truth is some amazing looking models are frigid and the best sex I ever had was not with a classically "pretty" woman. I wish men could start seeing with their hearts not with their eyes. Then I'd maybe less embarrassed to be one.

9:44 PM  

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